Date
17 January 2017
Shatin Hospital is promising stiff punishment for staff breaches after a body was moved prematurely to the morgue. Photo: RTHK
Shatin Hospital is promising stiff punishment for staff breaches after a body was moved prematurely to the morgue. Photo: RTHK

Shatin Hospital apologizes for body prematurely moved to morgue

Shatin Hospital has apologized for an incident in which a nurse moved a body to the morgue before the patient was certified dead.

The hospital said the nurse was negligent in treating the 87-year-old man whose death certificate had not been signed, news website hk01.com reports.

Hospital officials apologized to the man’s family.

They promised unspecified punishment for staff who don’t follow proper procedures but did not say how they will deal with the nurse.

The incident took place on March 30 when the nurse asked the man’s attending physician to sign his death certificate.

The doctor, who was doing some “clinical tasks” at the time, set the document aside.

The nurse proceeded to have the body removed, not knowing that the papers had not been signed, after the man’s family had taken a last look at him, the report said. 

The doctor completed the paperwork after discovering the mistake. The report did not say if he is culpable.

The Hospital Authority said it received a report of the incident, adding Shatin Hospital has had similar lapses in the past.

It warned the hospital to keep staff awareness at the highest level at all times and to strengthen internal communication and training.

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